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Rebels make presence felt

April 04, 2007|by DAN KAUFFMAN

WILLIAMSPORT - Often an afterthought in the Washington County track scene, suddenly South Hagerstown has something good going for it.

The Rebels boys used strong showings in the sprints and field events to win Tuesday's quad meet at Williamsport, which also included Clear Spring and Boonsboro.

"We have a tremendous staff and outstanding support from the school with regards to recruiting kids and encouraging them to participate," Rebels coach Dwayne Freeman said. "We have 65 kids this year, and 39 boys. I knew it would be a long-term effort to rebuild the program, and we're on schedule.

"I expected us to do well. I didn't know if we would win."

South won eight of 18 events and scored 95 points to pull away. The Wildcats (64), Warriors (60) and Blazers (52) battled for second throughout the evening but never threatened the Rebels, who proved to be too deep.

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"When you're dealing with a young group of kids, you have to explain to them how important it is to come to practice on time and give 110 percent," Freeman said.

"The meets are the tests, and I'm pleased with how we're doing. And we're nowhere near our potential yet."

Freeman was a standout sprinter and jumper for South in the late 1980s. He still holds records that are posted in the school gymnasium.

"I try to speak from experience," he said. "My time at South has made a difference. But the biggest thing is for the kids to see their own times and know they can do it."

ยท Williamsport's girls won nine of the 12 running events and 11 of the 18 overall, scoring 113 points to hold off Boonsboro (83). Clear Spring (45) and South (23) rounded out the field.

"We had a few people hurt today and a few people in Canada on a French trip," Wildcats coach John Bailey said. "We had some other people step up. I thought it was a good team effort."

Senior Jordan Atha won the 800 (2:38.5) and 1,600 (6:08.4) - leading 1-2-3 sweeps in each event - and sophomore Rehema Emanuel added victories in the 200 (27.7) and 400 (1:02.8) and was part of the winning 400 and 1,600 relay teams for the Wildcats.

"(Rehema) is a sophomore who's getting stronger," Bailey said. "She's finding out she can run a longer race without getting tired, and she's starting to believe in herself."

Sophomore Amy Taylor won the 100 hurdles (16.4) and the triple jump (31 feet, 4 inches), was part of the winning 1,600 relay and finished second in the 800.

Boonsboro senior Hayley Harnett won the 100 (13.2) and long jump (15-9 1/2), and senior Sarah Johnson added victories in the shot put (30-11) and discus (90 feet) for the Warriors.

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